Magic Trash Lesson and Student Samples

Read Time 3 mins | April 21, 2021 | Written by: Kylene Reed

magic trash-1This is a go-to lesson each year in our 2nd-grade classrooms. If you would like a copy of the lesson to use with your class in celebration of Earth Day, just click the links below!


Download - Google Slides DIGITAL LESSON

Download - Google Sheets PAPER LESSON

We started the lesson off by reading the book Magic Trash by author J.H. Shapiro. The second-grade teachers also shared some of the videos and pictures of the houses on Heidelberg Street to inspire the students. We talked about how fun it would be to join in the fun and design a house of our own as the "newest addition" to the neighborhood! So, I began my modeled lesson by having the students help me brainstorm what my house should look like. We charted all of the different ideas using the detail-generating questions that are included in the lesson.



Students then borrowed ideas from the chart or came up with some of their own and sketched out their house.   

house3     house2

house1Next, I helped them create a word referent chart for "house" so that it would not be repeated over and over throughout the piece. 

house8The lesson plan also includes sentence starters for you to use in your modeled piece and your students to use in their sample. Here is my modeled picture and sample that I wrote with the students. I made sure to point out the importance of including all of the specific details that I wanted on my house both in my drawing and my writing!


   house4 house5


For fun, our students created a picture with watercolors of their house that matched their writing sample! Oh, the power of details! Check out these 2nd Grade samples!






I hope you all enjoy this lesson as much as we do!

Kylene Reed